Fans didn't flock to New Orleans 

March, 20, 2007
The empty seats at the New Orleans Arena last weekend, mostly in the upper deck, may spell doom for another first- and second-round NCAA Tournament bid, but not necessarily for a future Final Four.

New Orleans is bidding for the 2012 Final Four and the hope is that the Crescent City can sell New Orleans as a destination for a weekend. That might work, but after being there for four days this past weekend, it's safe to say that unless it's a big-time event -- a Final Four, a Sugar Bowl, a Saints game -- the area will struggle to attract fans.

First- and second-round regionals are for the local fans, not as much for the fans of the teams. If you're a fan of Florida or Memphis and you've got a No. 1 or 2 seed team, you may have to budget for three trips. As such, you're likely going to pass on the first weekend, saving your money for the regional finals and then the Final Four. It wasn't a surprise that Florida used only its allotment of 500 tickets. Gators fans expect to be playing the next two weekends. Memphis had much more of a contingent in place, albeit with an easier drive. Still, there was hope for more of a turnout from the locals.